Recent features and Hollywood classics intermingle in another stellar week of DVD and Blu-ray new releases. You’ll want to set aside some free time to make sure you watch all of these wonderful offerings!
Riotous, gender-reversed updating of “Bedtime Story”/”Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” stars Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson as rival con women who enter into a bet to see who gets to continue scamming rich men in the South of France, and who will be forced to take her act somewhere else. Now, the ladies must engage in a series of outrageous and elaborate routines in order to part a wealthy tech mogul (Alex Sharp) from his cash. With Tim Blake Nelson, Ingrid Oliver.
A moving sequel to 2017’s A Dog’s Purpose, this filming of W. Bruce Cameron’s book continues the tale of a constantly reincarnated canine (voiced by Josh Gad) owned by Ethan Montgomery (Dennis Quaid). This time, the dog will put its lives to good use as an ever-faithful companion to Ethan’s step-granddaughter, C.J. (Abby Ryder Fortson and Kathryn Prescott), as she grows up. With Marg Helgenberger, Betty Gilpin, Henry Lau.
Magnificent Obsession (Criterion Collection)
Classic “three-hanky” melodrama from producer Ross Hunter, starring Rock Hudson as a playboy whose drunken ways lead to Jane Wyman’s losing her husband and her sight. A repentant Hudson becomes a surgeon in order to restore Wyman’s vision and falls in love with her, concealing his identity, along the way. With Barbara Rush, Otto Kruger; Douglas Sirk directs. Two-disc set also includes the 1935 version starring Irene Dunne and Robert Taylor.
Charming culinary consultant Henry Ross (Dylan Neal) helped single-mom San Francisco homicide cop Maggie Price (Brooke Burns) serve up solutions in these favorite Hallmark mysteries from the Peter King novels. Price turns to new acquaintance Ross when a journalist is slain in a posh eatery, in “The Gourmet Detective” (2015). Henry and Maggie order trouble when a reporter goes missing at a chef’s conference, in “A Healthy Place to Die” (2015). An Italian restaurateur is murdered, and Ross and Price want a word with the chef, in “Death Al Dente” (2016). Henry caters an 18th-century theme party turned deadly, in “Eat, Drink, And Be Buried” (2017).
Spirited theatrical farce, based on Ira Levin’s play, features Bob Hope as drama critic Parker Ballantine, who faces professional and personal crisis when wife Angela (Lucille Ball) writes a play…and he’s underwhelmed after reading it. Tensions go from simmer to boil when Angela’s work goes into production, the director (Rip Torn) flirts with her, and Parker turns to his ex-wife (Marilyn Maxwell) for solace. Fourth and final Hope-Ball tandem also stars Jim Backus, Jessie Royce Landis, John Dehner.
Engrossing, once-controversial drama stars Al Pacino as Steve Burns, a New York City cop who goes undercover in the city’s gay community to catch a serial killer of homosexuals. Maintaining his cover, however, requires total isolation from the department, leaving Burns without moorings as the world of leather, bondage, and sadomasochism penetrates his psyche. Graphic and violent film from William Friedkin also stars Karen Allen, Paul Sorvino, Richard Cox.
Since his forced retirement, systems analyst Ed Hemsler (John Lithgow) spent his time–outside of the occasional grocery run–online sharing his grim outlook with other doomsday theorists. Noticing the compulsive habits of fellow shopper Ronnie Meisner (Blythe Danner), he thinks he’s found another prepper–and as they try to navigate one another’s obsessions, each might find what’s missing from their lives. Quirky sunset romance also stars Derek Cecil, Katie Aselton, Sophie Thatcher, Eve Harlow.
Bloodletter meets bloodsucker in this celebrated clinker from director William “One Shot” Beaudine. Vampires walk in broad daylight, corpses move their arms, and rubber bats terrorize outlaw-turned-hero Billy the Kid (Chuck Courtney). John Carradine plays Dracula (for the first time since 1945’s “House of Dracula”), who goes up against Billy when he sets his sights on the gunslinger’s fiancée (Melinda Casey, billed as Melinda Plowman). Virginia Christine also stars.
Slick and savvy corporate raider Cash McCall (James Garner) made his substantial pile buying out ailing companies and writing off their losses. The business he’s currently targeting, however, is attached to a different sort of liability–his complicated romantic past with a major shareholder, CEO’s daughter Lory Austen (Natalie Wood). Boardroom melodrama adapted from the Cameron Hawley novel co-stars Dean Jagger, Nina Foch, E.G. Marshall, Otto Kruger, Roland Winters.
Shirley MacLaine stars as lovelorn New York City taxi dancer Charity Hope Valentine, who hopes her string of broken romances has finally ended when fate throws her together with a naive accountant (John McMartin) who knows nothing about her line of work. Bob Fosse adapted the Broadway hit he had helmed for his screen directorial debut; Chita Rivera, Sammy Davis, Jr., Ricardo Montalban, Paula Kelly, Stubby Kaye also star. Songs include “Big Spender” and “If My Friends Could See Me Now.”
Sexy romantic comedy with Alec Baldwin as a toothpaste heir, betrothed to the daughter of a Hollywood mogul, who meets a sensuous singer (Kim Basinger), girlfriend of gangster Bugsy Siegel, while in Las Vegas for his bachelor party. The chemistry between them clicks, and wedding bells ring for the star-crossed lovers…four times before the film is over! Elisabeth Shue, Paul Reiser co-star; Neil Simon scripted.
While building a harbor on a Caribbean island, construction workers unearth a brontosaurus, a tyrannosaurus rex, and Neanderthal man, all, as it turns out, still very much alive. A lightning strike revives both dinos and the caveman, and soon the locals are up to their necks in prehistoric adventures! Ward Ramsey, Kristina Hanson, Paul Lukather star in this lighthearted, action-packed fantasy from “The Blob” director Irvin S. Yeaworth, Jr.
An enchanting, thrilling fantasy starring Anjelica Huston as the leader of a coven of evil witches who wants to turn all of England’s children into mice. A young boy accidentally stumbles into their meeting and is transformed into a rodent, but he and his grandmother have a plan to turn the tides on the sorceress. Nicolas Roeg directs, with special effects by Jim Henson. Mai Zetterling, Jasen Fisher, Rowan Atkinson, Brenda Blethyn co-star.
Scientist Tony Nelson (James Congdon) invents an electronic amplifier that imparts the secret to moving through matter and entering a 4th dimensional state. But when Tony steals brother Scott’s (Robert Lansing) beautiful girlfriend (Lee Meriwether), Scott poaches the device and goes on a jealous killing rampage, walking through walls and turning a kiss of love into a kiss of death! Great ’50s sci-fi fun co-stars Robert Strauss, Patty Duke.
Troubled adolescent Brandon Breyer (Jackson A. Dunn) was finally tipped to the truth that his farmer parents (Elizabeth Banks, David Denman) withheld from him–that he possessed strange and superhuman abilities because he was a foundling from another world. Unfortunately, this young sociopath is less about truth, justice, and the American way than violently bending mankind to his will. Very dark spin on a very familiar pop mythos co-stars Matt Jones, Meredith Hagner, Becky Wahlstrom.
The Harder They Come (Collector’s Edition)
Reggae-flavored cult drama stars Jimmy Cliff as a Jamaican youth who dreams of becoming a singing star. After some run-ins with the law, he kills a corrupt policeman, and his fugitive status makes a recording he made a hit. Rough and raw blend of action and political polemic features music by Cliff, Toots and The Maytals, Desmond Dekker. Songs include “You Can Get It If You Really Want,” “Many Rivers to Cross,” and the title track.
Natasha Kingsley (Yara Shahidi) was just trying to make her way across Manhattan to an immigration lawyer willing to help stop her family’s imminent deportation to Jamaica. Daniel Bae (Charles Melton) was en route to the interview that might secure his acceptance to Dartmouth med school. A chance encounter sparked a memorable afternoon–and sad awareness of their prospects–in Ry Russo-Young’s take on the Nicola Yoon YA weepie; Jake Choi, John Leguizamo, Hill Harper also star.
In this sexy, atmospheric Hammer Films enterprise (which is actually unconnected to their other “Frankenstein” tales), Victor Frankenstein (Ralph Bates) is an odious soul who murders his father and makes use of the family’s wealth to attend medical school. After a dalliance with the dean’s daughter, he finds himself returning home and creating a towering monster (“Darth Vader” himself, David Prowse) that brings fear to all around him. Kate O’Mara, Veronica Carlson also star.
Based on the popular graphic novel series, this hit AMC series focuses on a small group of survivors living in the wake of an unknown catastrophe that has revived the dead as “walkers,” shambling, flesh-eating zombies. As the ragtag band, led by Southern lawman Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), makes their way across a walker-infested America, they soon discover that the dead may be the least of their problems. Al 16 episodes from the ninth season are included in this five-disc set.
Family drama and crime drama are often one and the same in this hit series that focuses on a multi-generational clan of New York City law enforcement officials. The family includes Police Commissioner Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) and his three kids: veteran detective Danny (Donnie Wahlberg), assistant district attorney Erin (Bridget Moynahan), and rookie officer and Harvard law grad Jamie (Will Estes). With Len Cariou, Jennifer Esposito, Amy Carlson. All 22 episodes from the ninth season are included in this six-disc set.
The third entry in the popular “NCIS” television franchise stars Scott Bakula as Dwayne Cassius “King” Pride, a seasoned NCIS agent who oversees a team that investigates cases from the Mississippi River to the Texas Panhandle. In addition to fellow agents Christopher LaSalle (Lucas Black) and Meredith Brody (Zoe McLellan), Pride is also assisted by local medical examiner Dr. Loretta Wade (CCH Pounder) and forensic scientist Sebastian Lund (Rob Kerkovich). All 23 episodes from the fifth season are included in this six-disc set.
Click here for an overview of all of this week’s new releases.